Missing Moments in Comic Book Art: Bob Kane's Discarded Early Concept

Reputedly, Bill Finger asked repeatedly why a giant purple cat was flying through the window until Kane agreed that a bat made more sense. Only after a further series of attempts with first a baseball bat, then a cricket bat, that a compromise was reached with a flying mammal bat, which had already been drawn into the third panel.


21 thoughts on “Missing Moments in Comic Book Art: Bob Kane's Discarded Early Concept

  1. There was a one or two page feature in one of the Bronze Age 100-page spectaculars which showed Bruce being inspired by different things, such as an owl. a stingray or a metor. My favorite was when he becomes “that meteoric nemesis of evil,” Shooting Star (“Criminals will wish when they see me — they’ll wish they’d never been born!”).
    But they didn’t include the cat, darn it.

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      1. Necklace didn’t become prominent until Frank Miller, if I remember correctly. Says a lot about how influental his DKR was.

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    1. Jesus! You hit the shift key and it posts.

      It’s not generally known that Oliver Queen was inspired to become a superhero, and was driving around town aimlessly as he pondered what to do. He was sitting at an intersection when the man behind honked and said “Hey! Wake up! The green arrow’s on!”

      OF COURSE! he said to himself. That’s it! Criminals are a cowardly, superstitious lot…

      Liked by 3 people

    1. Good lord, I remember the Whizzer. With that name and his costume, you really do have to wonder if the writers were, as it were, taking the piss. (Sorry not sorry.)

      My father had a copy of ‘Lo, the Liberty Legion!’ around somewhere that briefly went through a number of origin stories, including that one. And Blue Diamond, whose only power was being as hard as diamond because he was doing research on a massive blue diamond when an explosion blasted shards of the diamond into his skin.

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      1. “Whizzer” was also the nickname of Supreme Court Justice Byron White, which I knew because he was a famed alumnus of Colorado State University. I only found out a couple of years ago that the house my sister lived in in Wellington had been White’s domicile long ago.

        Oh, the nickname came from being on the track team. No idea if it involved superheroes.

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      2. A lot of superhero origins basically run on sympathetic magic — lightning makes you fast, an explosion makes you strong, being bitten by something gives you its powers. I think some of the humour in the Whizzer’s origin is that it just doesn’t sound like the correct spell.

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  2. James, I’ve thought that Superman works on a kind of symbolic logic. I can inhale a small bit of gas or smoke, therefore Superman can super-inhale an entire cloud of poison gas. Some people have good eyes, Superman can see to Alpha Centauri. And so on.

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